What It Takes Financially To Get Your Kid Into Preschool In Singapore
Parenthood is an amazing experience, especially getting to see your offspring grow, from being able to sit on their own, crawling, their first word, and even walking. Pretty soon, it becomes apparent that they are approaching the age of formal education, and this means prepping them for preschool.
Preschools are learning institutions that provide educations for children under six years old. Although taking your child to preschool is an exciting shift for parents, it also means the beginning of the school fees journey. It is thus necessary to consider the costs that you will likely incur through this journey. Singapore preschools are categorized as follows: N1 for children between 2 and 3 years old, N2 for 3-4 year-olds, K1 for kids between 4 and 5 years old, and K2 for 5 and 6 year-olds.
Types of preschools available in Singapore and their costs per child
- Ministry of education (MOE) kindergartens– Singapore has around 15 MOE kindergartens, which are located within community spaces and primary schools. They specifically target the K1 and K2 categories, and they operate for four hours from Monday to Friday. The important thing is that they focus on providing a conducive environment that will help provide the development that the kids need.
Children are taught at English and also one of the three major mother tongues in Singapore, which are Chinese, Tamil, and Malay. The half-day program costs S$150 monthly for the local children and S$300 for the kids of parents who are permanent residents.
- The Anchor Operator Scheme (AOP)- This is a program operated by Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA). It aims to provide government subsidies to various preschools to lower the preschool rates, thus reducing the fee burden for parents. The school fee differs from school to school, but the ECDA ensures that the pricing does not surpass S$720 for full-day childcare, S$1275 for full-day infant care, and S$160 for kindergarten fees. Note that these are monthly fees.
- International preschools- Just like there are international primary schools and high schools, there also exist international preschools in Singapore. They are more expensive than conventional preschools and have the resources to go beyond the traditional approach.
The annual fees for these types of preschools are usually different depending on the school. For example, The Singapore American School charges from S$27,728 to S$35,052 for kindergarten and preschool children. Its offerings are equally high, and they include Chinese language classes, Kindermusik lessons, the development of perpetual motor skills, and literacy classes, among others.
Another good example of an international preschool is EtonHouse, which charges around S$4,248.56 as pre-nursery enrollment fees and S$4,098.56 for Nursery 1 children. The fee range is S$5,665.65-S$6,741.00 for a school term that lasts around ten weeks.
The different types of preschools in Singapore means that the fees that parents pay may range from triple digits per month to four-digit figures. It also means that the country has quite a high average preschool fees, which currently stands at S$1,087 per month. Also, note that the range of fees depends on the location of the preschool, the teaching methods applied, and also whether the school is private, government-funded, or whether it is international.
The amount of fees you will be required to pay may also depend on whether you are a naturally-born Singapore resident or an expatriate. Below is a list of some preschools available in Singapore and the monthly fees they charge.
Subsidies that can help ease the preschool fees
- The basic subsidy- This type of subsidy is available for children that are Singapore citizens that attend an ECDA-licensed preschool. Working mothers in Singapore can access subsidies worth S$600 if their children are in the infant care stage and S$300 for children enrolled in the childcare stage. Non-working mothers also access subsidies worth S$150 for both infant care and childcare.
- Additional subsidy- Singapore’s government also offers additional subsidies under special conditions. You can qualify for this subsidy if you are a single mother with a minimum of 56 working hours per month, if your child was born in Singapore and if you enroll your child in an ECDA-licensed preschool. You may also qualify for this type of subsidy if you and your spouse jointly earn less than S$7,500 per month.
Note that single fathers that are either divorced, widowed or in the process of separation from their spouse also qualify for basic and additional subsidies.
- The Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)- Parents whose children attend AOP or MOE kindergartens are eligible for a maximum of S$128.00 in subsidies if their children were born in Singapore (are natural citizens of the country). This subsidy will also be awarded if your family’s gross monthly income is less than S$6,000 or if your monthly revenue is less than S$1,500. Below is a monthly subsidy chart based on household income levels.
- Startup grant (SUG)- Singapore’s startup grant allows families to redeem S$45 for about three sets of uniforms each year. Note that families only qualify for this grant if their household income per month is less than S$1,900 or when the average individual income in every household is less than S$650.
If you are keen on getting the most affordable deal as far as preschools are concerned, you might want to consider cost savings in more areas. For example, select a preschool that is close to your area of residence. This will help to reduce your transport costs, thus allowing you to save some more.
You should also consider other factors, such as the teacher-student ratio. In most cases, the fewer students per teacher, the better the situation because the teacher can concentrate on the individual needs of every student as opposed to when the students are many. The teaching that is used in your selected preschool should also be a consideration because it will set precedence for your child’s ability to grasp academic concepts. It is okay to visit different schools and check out their method operations so that you can determine which is best for your child.